Can Athlete's Blood Improve Their Brain?

The team tested whether removing any of the four most important proteins in a runner’s blood mattered and found that if the clusterin was...


The team tested whether removing any of the four most important proteins in a runner’s blood mattered and found that if the clusterin was removed, the anti-inflammatory effects wore off. And when mice bred to have some type of brain inflammation or version of Alzheimer’s disease were injected with clusterin, it decreased their brain inflammation.

In the only part of the study involving humans, 20 military veterans with a pre-dementia disease called mild cognitive impairment who participated in a six-month exercise program were found to have elevated levels of clusterin in the body. blood.

Kaci Fairchild, associate director of the Department of Veterans Affairs Sierra Pacific Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center, and author of the new study, said the veterans, aged 50 to 89, exercised three times a day. week, combining cardio with weight training.

Dr Fairchild said in results that have yet to be released, in addition to having high aggregatin, veterans performed better on tests involving word memory and story recall.

“Overall, veterans have had improvements in cognitive function, largely related to learning and memory,” Dr. Fairchild said. Noting that some people have disabilities or limitations that prevent them from exercising, she said she hoped that “the implications of this clusterin are that we can develop a drug targeting this protein for people who don’t. were unable to participate in physical activity.

In the brain, clusterin binds to cells that line blood vessels, cells that inflame in Alzheimer’s disease, Dr Wyss-Coray said, suggesting that a potential drug could bind to these cells and “mimic anti-inflammatory effects”.

Still, experts who study Alzheimer’s disease and neuroinflammation have said that much more research is needed before therapies can be developed.

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